Participants:

Aelia_icon.gif Kitty_icon.gif

Scene Title Go Up to Go Down
Synopsis Aelia goes poking around the Bone Pit. She finds more than, perhaps, she bargained for.
Location The Bone Pit
Date Justinian 5, 9:31 Dragon
Watch For Kitty being an ass, Aelia gettin' sassy.
Logger Dragony-goodness

Kirkwall was stuffy, cramped, miserable, and there wasn't a moment within it's walls that Aelia didn't feel like she had someone watching her. Unfortunantly her options for leisurely strolls were, the wounded coast which were infested with bandits and Tal Vashoth (and thus, Qunari hunting them), Sundermount where the Dalish hunters would fill her with arrows and the auspiciously named 'Bone Pit'. Bone Pit it was today. The Altus has taken her staff with her, keenly aware of it slung over her shoulder to protect her. She is a little curious, as to the rumors about this place, hence as she makes her way down the twisting path she tries to pick up on the magical currents in the air around her. Dragons were potent creatures, and undead and shades were creatures of spirit magic, or at least spirit magic's more mature older brother, Necromancy.

Dragons are potent creatures, ancient and powerful even in their diminished state and form. There is a nest a little ways down the path from where the Altus meanders. The eggs have hatched, but only days ago; the little hatchlings aren't much bigger than dogs and can do almost nothing on their own. Normally, at this stage, the young ones are never left unattended. Today, however, there is no sign of dragon nor drake in sight. What there is, however, is an enormous tiger - exactly like those that have been hunted to such rarity in the north - sprawled among sleeping babies in the center of the nest. Ears flick back and forth as currents shift around her, but beyond the twitch to the tip of her tail, she is content to watch and wait; to see what this shem child would do.

Aelia rounds the corner spying, at first, the clutch of tiny dragons. A sane person might become very concerned at the impending attack of a Drake of High Dragon when encountering a nest, but Aelia… either there's something to her affinity for dragons or she's a complete nutjob. She stays a fair distance from them, stopping and watching, really just the ones that wander a little further afield. After a moment her eyes follow the reptiles back to their nest and… gods is that a tiger!? The shock is visible on the Altus' face, as is a healthy amount of fear. But what on this Blighted earth was it /doing/ here? Her safe distance is suddenly not safe enough and she takes three large steps back the way she came, still in line of sight, but at least it's something.

And just to make it weirder, the tiger in question is not making a timely little snack of the wee beasties. She dips her head to run sandpaper tongue over the hide of the littlest one sprawled between her forepaws. Yes, Aelia, you are seeing this right, she's grooming them like they're kittens or cubs. There's at least no commentary… not until those three steps backwards are taken. Then it comes on the heels of a sigh. "How disappointing." Polite.

Sweet merciful Razikale, it talks. Then again, since when was Razikale merciful? Aelia stares at the creature for a moment, cautious and curious. "You find prudence disappointing?" she says from afar. It could be an apostate shapeshifter…. or someone from the circle /really/ fucking with her. Or it's some sort of spirit. Aelia attempts to focus her attention on the ambient magical energy on the nest. The Spirit mage is also deeply aware of the well of mana within her own body, just in case.

"Perhaps that isn't the right word. There are so many of them. Sometimes I borrow the wrong one." In other words, yes; it talks. At first those reaching senses can tell nothing at all - then there is too much at once to pull anything useful out of… and finally there is an easing, a pulling back until the only real sense about the tiger as she stands and stretches like a dog asking to play is that whatever she is, it's old. Also jumbled up, like jigsaw pieces that don't quite fit. "Fear. I find fear disappointing."

"The only people truly devoid of fear are the truly reckless and foolhardy." Aelia responds, who, to her credit hasn't moved from her slight tactical retreat. "It is a valuable instinct all living things share. To be dominated by it is weakness, but to not listen at all. That's a death wish." There's a twitching of her eye, a pain in her head. Old, she can deal with old. Old what is still up for debate, but if this thing was a mage it was a damn frightening one. "Do you have a name I can call you by?"

"For mortals, certainly. For the rest of us, the only reason to learn fear is to offset learned weakness." Well, that's certainly one way to put it. "And the thing most feared is the mortal race from which the specific weakness comes." Which, from her perspective, is pretty much how it goes. The request for a name makes her wrinkle her nose. "Mortals always ask for that. I know who you are. You know who I am. What good does a fancy word for 'you' or 'he' or 'she' do anyone?" There is something in the woman's scent that is… catching. Like fire and snow and lightning all rolled up together.

"I have theories about /what/ you are." Aelia says, "But they are only theories. Who is a completely different matter." her eyes pull form the tiger for a moment to the (relatively) tiny dragons and she can't help the fond smile on her face. But the distraction is only momentary. "I hope you'll forgive me my ignorance." She says, figuring politeness is the best course of action. Aelia's brows furrow together as she listens to the spirit speak, she's curious. "You learn to feel fear to compensate for a learned weakness, and fear mortals most who are the root of that weakness?" she asks, wanting to be sure she's got it straight. "Are you speaking of attachment? Desire?"

"Yes, that," the cat allows. "But also other things. You all scurry everywhere. To and fro, back and forth, always in such a rush. It is worse than a colony of gophers." Gophers. Magical imagery. "And equally as pointless. And," she adds, as though this is the worst fault of all, "it's contagious." The woman plays with her pendant and the cat comes closer, extending her neck to get a good, solid scent.

Aelia doesn't falter as the cat comes closer, more or less convinced that if the creature was going to attack her it would already. and if it's a demon… well that would be fifty shades of weird and easier to handle all at the same time. "Is it not simply that we seem in a rush because we die so quickly?" She ventures.

Something in the way the amulet smells to the great cat makes her sneeze, but she takes another step and another step and another step. "Nothing is ever 'simply' anything with you." Close enough now, she bumps her muzzle against the amulet, something questing and… almost confused in the way the currents swim around her. "Where did you get that?"

Aelia remains planted even as the great cat draws close enough to press it's muzzle against her chest, which… is a singular experience. Aelia considers playing it off for a moment, 'get what, this old thing?' and all that, but also has the sense that lying to this creature is not only futile, but a profoundly bad idea. "You'd be surprised the things that turn up in hole-in-the-wall shops in Minrathous, if you know where and what to look for." She's always aware of the metal amulet against her skin but this is… strange.

That's a good instinct. "Razikale. They called her Razikale. I miss her." It's spoken so softly, so far away - almost childlike - and lost, like a kitten out crying in a rainstorm. It only lasts for a moment, a breath of frozen air and then gone again in the next minute, leaving only chills along the skin in its wake. She bumps the pendant again and her edges become fuzzy, indistinct, but when she sighs and turns to walk away again, they solidify once more. "You are a long way from home."

What? Did she… what? The shock on Aelia's face is evident, this creature was either a spirit of some description or a desire demon so good at it's job that really, it hard earned turning Aelia into an abomination. The mage shivers, and when Kitty turns away she takes a step to follow. "You know of Razikale? Or, you /knew/ her?" So many questions. She has /so many/ questions. "You seem to be a long way from home yourself, spirit." Aelia replies, "But yes. My interests often take me far from Minrathous."

"Of course not," Kitty huffs, leaping easily back up into the nest and nosing at sleepy hatchlings. "The Old Gods are dead." There's something impossibly different about her voice - something younger, perhaps? Something… stormy and cold and lonely. "If they ever existed at all." She shrugs (which is a bizarre action to see on a tiger)) and lifts her head back to stare down at Aelia. "What interests you here?"

Well that's disheartening, and the sting of it shows on Aelia's face. But for all a spirit proclaiming that hr gods are dead if they even existed hurts, it also stirs a relentless hope somewhere deep in her heart. "This city is old. It has a deep well of history and is the site of a variety of strange events. It all has me curious about this place." Which is what brought her to the bone pit in the first place, really.

The tiger considers this for a moment, occupying herself while she thinks by lifting one great paw and batting at a playful hatchling with an impossible gentleness. "This place is older even than your Empire." It's not a singular secret or anything, but it sounds definitive, which is new. "This Sundermount was sacred long before Andoral lay down his chains here."

Aelia nods, something she already knew, though the specific wording of 'Andoral laying down his chains' catches her attention. She wonders if it's literal. After all, if you believe that the Old gods are the archdemons that means they must have had physical bodies as dragons. Hell, the wardens even claim to have their locations, not that Aelia will ever be able to get the location of Razikale's prison unless she pries it from the first warden's cold dead hands. "I don't know the story of Sundermount before my people. I've only conjecture that it has to do with the elven gods."

For some reason, this statement makes Kitty laugh. "You mortals are so obsessed with 'or' and 'then'. What's wrong with 'and' and 'still'?" Her voice grows… somehow bigger - older and higher and sharp, like claws and fangs and talons. "It would never occur to you that your own perceptions are limited, that what you are colors what you see. Human gods, elvhen gods, dwarven gods… Pah. What do you know of power?"

Aelia levels a glare at the tiger, which might not be the best tactical decision, and yet. "I have just admitted my own ignorance on a topic, and you chide me for speaking about things with the only words I have? How do you, spirit, suddenly know me so well to assume I would spurn a new perspective, and new concept, when it is presented to me? Do you think a person who spends their life hearing one version of her people's history at home, and the complete opposite of it from foreign tongues, both held equally as truth, might not consider that everything she knows is a lie?" Her hand comes up to wrap around the metal dragon sitting against her chest. "You are correct, and I likely now very little of real power. But do not assume my ignorance is for lack of trying."

Kitty huffs an indignant breath. "Peace, child. I was speaking in generalities." And she looks down at the hatchlings napping or playing around her legs. "There is no need to ruffle wings still wet from the egg." How a person can sound simultaneously that condescending and yet tap into something that sounds almost like camaraderie is… disconcerting, to say the least. "Your ignorance comes from limitations you did not choose, but you must recognize them all the same." A change in the currents around her precedes a sharp look over one shoulder. "There is a Dreamer here, now." Not that this is in any way relevant; it simply takes precedence because the noticing makes her wrinkle her nose. "She smells like wet dog." And it does not at all appear to be a pleasant sensation. "Anaris would hate it." And this pleases her.

The condescending does rub the Altus the wrong way, as someone whose never really had to learn how to deal with it, but she abides it for now. After all you don't get to speak to a spirit tiger every day. "There is a Dreamer in the city?" Aelia too, looks back from the way she came. "I would hate to be them, the air itself must sting." Aelia having at least some knowledge on the topic, her own family having been trying to produce a Somniari for decades. She turns her head back again, "Anaris?"

"Mhmm, Anaris. Though he is gone now, too, so I suppose it doesn't matter." And though she'd only just a moment ago been pleased at his irritation, she sounds… mournful of his loss. There is a change in the energy surrounding her, the sound of massive wingbeats high up and far off. "If it is power you seek, this place has its share. It has been buried. You must go deep." And she sits, prim as a queen on her throne. "But for now, I would recommend going up. You will not want to be here when Rhea returns from her hunt."

"You don't have to tell me twice." she says, looking up in the direction of the sounds of an approaching High Dragon. "It's been, nice," Strange, "Speaking with you." Aelia turns over her shoulder, heading back towards the city the way she came, with more questions than she had ever possibly envisioned coming up with on this little stroll, and precisely no answers.


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